Between 1789 and 1902 the direction of education in England had passed from the Church to the State. This book is a history of that change which culminated in the Education Act of 1902, passed, ironically enough, by a Conservative Government in the face of bitter Radical and Liberal opposition. For it was the Radicals who, in the early part of the nineteenth century, were preaching the doctrine of 'useful knowledge'. Hitherto, religion had been the leading aim of English education and the universities (there were only two) and the public and grammar schools were founded on that premise. The immense advances in scientific knowledge were reflected in changes in the curricula of schools and universities where the classics and divinity had to yield ground to the physical sciences. Professor Adamson describes the Education Act of 1870 and the Cross Commission on religious teaching in schools, the new systems of university education and the muddle resulting from administrative overlapping. He concludes his book with a description of the schoolmasters profession at the end of the nineteenth century.